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 £10billion Telecom Revolution In Wales

NewyddionCardiff and other surrounding areas of South Wales are set to be the "test-bed" for BT's 21st Century Network (21CN), this £10 billion project is a world-first initiative and will be closely watched by other leading telecoms companies worldwide.

  The 21CN is BT's attempt at moving away from the older circuit switched system to a more modern setup based on internet protocol (IP) technology, allowing for a more advanced range of services such as video.

  BT has carried out smaller scale trials in both London and East Anglia,however the 350,000 customers in the South Wales area will be the first mass migration to the 21CN, with the initial customers expected to be transferred to the network in the latter part of 2006.

 Rhodri Morgan the first minister of the Welsh Assembly said "It's incredibly exciting for us that Wales has been selected to provide the test-bed for BT's new 21st Century Network (21CN)".

The Chief Executive of BT Wholesale, Paul Reynolds, said that the company had thought carefully before deciding where to start the roll-out of 21CN stating that "We need a good strong, economically active area" and "We need a good level of support in terms of business interest in communications-intensive services".

 BT will create three "metronodes", super telephone exchanges in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, and will install new equipment in more than 50 local exchanges.

 According to Mr Reynolds the initial trials had gone well, with BT wanting to ensure that they were able to offer as good voice quality as on the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), Mr Reynolds commented that the transition had all gone pretty smoothly.

 BT also recently announced the lead equipment vendors it would be working with on the 21CN, however Marconi, traditionally its biggest supplier was not selected.

Source- -Timesonline



 
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